The executive board of New York City’s school principals union on Sunday unanimously voted that they had “no confidence” in mayor Bill de Blasio and chancellor Richard Carranza, calling on the pair to relinquish control of the school system to the state just two days before the scheduled start of in-classroom learning for K-8 students.
The vote came after months of uncertainty for many students and staff as the system has repeatedly changed its approach to teaching in an attempt to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
The Council of School Supervisors and Administrators said it was calling on the state to intervene in part because there are more than 200 elementary school principals who still need a total of 1,200 teachers before K-8 site instruction begins Tuesday, while district higher-ups have encouraged principals to lie and cover up the staffing shortfalls, the New York Post reported. High school students are scheduled to return to the classroom Thursday. In-person teaching was delayed earlier this month and parents learned that their children would not be returning to school just days ahead of their planned start date.
District superintendents have “verbally pressured [principals] to falsely report that their staffing needs are already met after they requested additional staff due to safety concerns,’’ the CSA said in its resolution, which its executive board unanimously passed on Sunday, as students return to the classroom this week.
The CSA has “declared a unanimous vote of ‘No Confidence’ in Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza due to their failure to lead New York City through the safe and successful reopening of schools,” the union wrote.
“CSA calls on Mayor de Blasio to cede mayoral control of the Department of Education for the remainder of this health crisis and for Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza to seek the immediate intervention of the New York State Education Department.”
The union’s resolution came days after an announcement that more educators would be allowed to do their jobs from home, following a deal between the de Blasio administration and the city teachers’ union, which the CSA said it was not made aware of.
A Department of Education source told the New York Post that it is unlikely the state will choose to intervene or that de Blasio would give up control of the system.
While almost 50 percent of all parents of New York City public-school children have opted for online-learning only, a city Department of Education rep told the paper that the start of in-person learning is on track, and did not acknowledge any staffing shortages.
“For the past six months, we’ve worked with our labor partners to navigate completely uncharted waters and accomplish our shared goal of serving students this fall,’’ spokeswoman Miranda Barbot said.
“We’ll continue this work to guarantee a safe, health and successful opening for all.
“This week, more kids will be safely sitting in New York City classrooms than in any other major American city — a testament to city leadership and our educators’ commitment to their students, and the importance of in-person education.”